Today let’s highlight a middle grade marvel, Rosa’s Animals: The Story of Rosa Bonheur and Her Painting Menagerie by Maryann Macdonald.
Rosa’s Animals by Maryann Macdonald
Have you ever heard of Rosa Bonheur? She was a Realist painter and sculptor from France in the mid 1800s known for her dynamic paintings of animals. Trained by her father at a time when women were not encouraged to be painters, Rosa broke with convention to become a popular and revered artist.
The illustrations include paintings not only by Rosa Bonheur, but also some of her contemporaries to show context for her work. The backmatter is quite extensive, consisting of an author’s note and references.
I don’t know how I missed Rosa’s Animals because it got starred reviews in all the right places when it first came out. If you’ve overlooked it too, perhaps now is the time to seek out a copy.
Rosa is known for her amazing ability to paint realistic fur and also her use of light. She is a good artist to introduce to middle grade students. Find some images of Rosa Bonheur’s works on the internet to share and discuss. (WikiArt has a collection). Encourage students to try their hand at drawing and painting animals.
Public domain image of a Rosa Bonheur painting from Wikimedia.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (June 5, 2018)
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Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.